Liz's Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

One of my galfriends made the most amazing cake for dessert during one of my dinner parties. Hers was so good, the Hubs commented that he would pick this over a Chocolate Origin cake. So, the blogger in me got her to write out her recipe (she'd only jotted down the list of ingredients, in short form on a post-it so it was indecipherable) for reproduction on this blog!

*Makes a tall 30cm diameter round cake or, preferably halve the cake recipe for a 20cm diameter cake

Cake Ingredients:
250g unsalted butter, melted
200g dark chocolate, roughly broken to smaller pieces
310ml water
3 tbsp cocoa, packed
1 tsp coffee (if using instant coffee, mix with granules with enough hot water to dissolve)
1 ½ cups caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (or, 2 tsp vanilla essence)
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups self-raising four, well sifted

Buttercream Ingredients:
½ cup soft salted butter
3 ¼ cups icing sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt (about 1/8 tsp)
1 tsp vanilla extract (or, 2 tsp vanilla essence)
¼ cup buttermilk (or, make this using milk & white vinegar)

Directions (cake):
1. Preheat oven at 145°C (fan forced) or 160°C (not fan forced).  Grease baking tin and line with baking paper.

2. Put butter, dark chocolate, water, cocoa, coffee and caster sugar in a saucepan and stir to combine on low heat.  Remove from heat when chocolate and butter have just melted.  Remove from saucepan and cool in mixing bowl (approx. 15 mins).

3. Add vanilla and eggs to the mixture and beat till combined.

4. Add flour gradually and beat till combined and smooth.  Don’t overdo this.

5. Pour batter into baking tin, bake for approximately 45-55 minutes (lower end if recipe is halved, more if not).

Method (buttercream):
1. Mix ingredients till smooth with a mixer.
2. Divide cake into two halves only after it has cooled fully.  Apply a generous layer of buttercream and stack the two halves back.  Cover the cake in butter cream and chill just to set.
3. If possible, try not to keep the cake in the fridge too long, so as not to dry out the cake.

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